Little Boy Creations

Most of the pics that relate to my grandkids include their images, which we as a family have chosen to password protect. This one, a block creation made by Archie and three of his friends, has no kid images and so I can leave it open to the public.

Beyond enjoying the creativity of their work, I’m struck by how much five year olds have to master. They start with a big box of blocks, and have to agree on what to build. They have to portion out the tasks, without getting in each other’s way. The have to come to consensus about adding things, like the creatures. They have to agree on what the final product is, exactly. And they have to share pride of authorship — “we built this, Grammie”, not “look what I did”. They have to negotiate with their classmates over use of floor space, as the creation clearly got larger and larger. They might have had to negotiate to get the animals, which came from another part of the classroom, not just exert claim over the blocks.

You might recognize these skills as germane to any workplace, only children learn them through play — not by studying organizational theory.

When I worked as a consultant, if I had a group that seemed not too impressed with themselves and open to doing something different, I’d sometimes bring in a box of Legos and dump them in the middle of the conference table in the room where we were working. I’d ask the team to build something interesting, suggesting they take note of their own process as they worked. I was trying to bring them back to a time when insight is gleaned by doing, not by talking. Often enough, it worked.

Pretty cool structure that Archie and friends created, no?

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